September 2014

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Tim comments here. We converse by email. We talk about books and such. Today he’s mad:

Finished American Caesar. Loved it, thank you. It was fascinating not just because of MacArthur himself but also to look at the important moments of American history his family line was a part of. The part at the end which you referenced was only about the last page & a half and I’m glad I read the rest of the book first, otherwise much of its impact would have been lost.

It put a lot of modern day happenings into perspective, too. MacArthur was right about how to fight in Korea. I’d mark that as the official beginning of our nation’s decline, when we first lost the will to fully win wars. And we’ve learned absolutely nothing from history. What’s the strategy now? Drone strikes and arming “freedom fighters” to beat back ISIS? Sure. And it only took two or three weeks and however many rounds of golf to come up with that. Amazing.

And so many young people, who should be the most fired up & concerned about all this, are perfectly happy to wrap themselves in Obama’s idiocy of “Don’t worry, ISIS actually has nothing to do with Islam.” Had an argument yesterday with someone in their twenties whose whole point was yeah, just like how the Westboro Baptist Church people are not really Christian. Same exact thing. Muslims down the street aren’t rooting for these guys, and he snarkily apologized for interrupting my “Fox News” rant. Unless, I said, you happen to live down the street from MAJ Hassan, the Tzarnaev brothers, the British guy who beheaded the first journalist, the Australian guy who tweeted pics of his Australian-born son gleefully holding up a freshly cut head, or any of the other Western not-actually-Muslims swelling the ranks of ISIS. No response, of course. He probably doesn’t even know who MAJ Hassan or the Tzarnaevs are.

I mean…are you fucking kidding me? Fox News is the problem? Mentioning Westboro in the same breath as Islam is supposed to be some profound, intellectual statement? Oh and this was Thursday, of course. On Tuesday, the whole of Christendom was still being held to account for the actions of WBC and the Spanish Inquisition. I think the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor a few decades too early. Nowadays we’d be falling all over ourselves to assure each other the Japanese marauding their way through the Pacific were not actually Japanese. This is the future of our country. Well, the limp-dick whitebread neo-lib commies and the 6 million or so illegals, that is.

We even have leftist groups actively working to flip red states, not just with fraudulent votes but by getting the flotsam & jetsam from blue states to move there. You can see them talking about it on the internet. I have seen an unnerving amount of Michigan license plates on the roads here in the past 12 months, for example. And what’s the strategy of our vaunted Republican leadership? Run Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush in 2016? Never, ever, under any circumstances impeach Obama or indict a single member of his administration? Help pass amnesty so all those Hispanics will be eternally grateful to the GOP? Maybe Erick Ericson or Ed Morissey have some thoughts on how to flip blue states like California & NY?

Remember the “HOLD!” scene in Braveheart where Wallace gets them to hide the long spears until the English horses are too close to stop their charge? I feel like that, except that cavalry has already stomped over our line and is marauding through the rear, while our alleged leaders continue to yell “HOLLLLLD! Not yet, guys. Not yet. Don’t want to act in haste, ya know.”

I remember the scene. We’ve all been waiting.

Interminably. On hold. Time to yell.

Keep fighting against that damn War on Women. If you can figure out where the lines are. Or ever were.

Keep opposing that damn War on Women. If you can figure out where the lines are or ever were. Just under her bust, I’m thinking.

My own definition of hysteria is when people are more interested in emoting about something than doing something about it. (Case in point, Redskins.)

The Ray Rice thing has become a ridiculous circus. Last night, CBS analyst James Brown — yet another Harvard twit — thought it was his place to lecture all men about their responsibility to stem the tide of this guerrilla war on women.

Nonsense. But so is the pushback. Rush Limbaugh is still arguing that all the fuss is part of a liberal conspiracy to take down the NFL. He may be right in that but he’s still missing the point.

Just to begin a real discussion, read this piece from beginning to end. It’s called “The Third Rail of Domestic Violence.”

There is one vital element of the domestic violence dialogue that ignites torrents of unwarranted disapproval: an examination of the dynamic of the women who stay with, and even defend, their attackers.

Attempts to explore what leads otherwise smart women to remain in injurious and possibly fatal relationships is met with bizarre condemnation. A popular reaction has been that this somehow “blames the victims.”

Blames them? This is an attempt to save them.

This is particularly peculiar criticism in view of the fact that there is actual victim-blaming to be found. Amid the week of reaction to Rice’s decking of his then-fiancée, there has been a smattering of observations along the lines of: Did she provoke him? Wasn’t she aware he had a short temper? Shouldn’t women navigate their irascible men with greater skill?

Now that’s victim-blaming, or at least an attempt to pass onto women some responsibility for preventing their own clobberings. It is, of course, nonsense.

But how do we get to a place where it is frowned upon to ask about the abundance of women— some of whom can be found in cemeteries— who keep themselves available for repeated beatings?

Perhaps we are in no mood to impose anything on victims that even looks like an obligation or even a strong suggestion. More likely, we are hesitant to wander into delicate territory in this era of reflexive, contrived offense.

But we must.

We have a societal responsibility to deliver a message to men that women are never, ever a proper target for physical violence… But there is also a vital signal that must be delivered to women: Get out.

This is a message that must be delivered with an understanding of its complexities. Getting out is not always easy. Before we get to the mental pathologies that compel some women to stay willingly, there are plenty of women who would love to make an escape but cannot, at least not immediately.

Their kids are in the house. They have no money of their own. There is no trusted friend or relative nearby. We should always know that our advice to get out of an abusive relationship is fraught with possible obstacles, including an enormous elevation of risk.

The men poisoning these relationships are often unhinged control freaks. If living with them on a daily basis is a hazard, imagine the consequences when the woman decides she’s had it and hits the road. If the exit is foiled or the wayward woman is found, the results can be unspeakable. So let’s not just say “get out” and walk away satisfied with our wise advice.

All true. But there are several other variables — and constants — that need to be taken into account.

Begin with constants. Domestic violence has occurred since the beginning of the human race. Because men and women have violent differences all the time. Often with odd unintended consequences. There has never been (contrary to feminist wishful thinking) a matriarchal society. There have been matrilineal societies, notably the Picts, which passed property through the female line. Pictish girls were routinely married and slain for their property in preteen years. Why there are no more Picts.

The Egyptians and Easter Islanders had similar problems, inheritance customs that led to royal/aristocratic incest and fatal genetic problems.

Another attempted solution to sexual dimorphism was dowries, which continue to thrive in the most primitive Stone Age cultures on earth. Which also leads to resentment and frequent violence, although most commonly female subjugation to the level of near slavery.

So, women owning property and women as property are equally a problem. Female equality might seem to be an answer. But it is, culturally, an enlightenment innovation. Which carries its own unintended consequences. Enter the variables.

Poverty is the most gender leveling thing there is. The woman needs a protector. The man needs a servant and baby maker. It returns us to our Cro-Magnon roots. The second biggest influence is lack of education. When the language of expressing emotion does not exist, violence becomes an earlier resort.

If you do not have words to describe your feelings, you will express your feelings physically.

Both men and women will regard this as appropriate. It becomes, “How we can communicate.” A subject nobody will touch. A fourth rail if you will.

Yeah, there are screwed up middle class white guys who beat their women. But they are fewer, as are the women who expect that and regard it as a normal response. It’s a different case with the poor. They don’t identify their abusers as psychopaths. They regard them as people they can also throw things at and, if need be, cut them up in their sleep. Eleven out of twelve of the most common acts of domestic violence are performed by women. It’s another way of talking.

I, too, am touched by the statistic that one in five American women may have been subjected to domestic violence by a man. But I also know something about statistics. It does NOT mean that one in five men abuses women. Unless you’re hanging onto the idea that all women connect with one man and cleave to him until he kills her.

I can tell you the whole class of “nice guys” is sick to death of the whole bad boy schtick. Why men may not be as upset about domestic violence as James Brown would like us to be. If you seek out people who disrespect and abuse you, precisely because they disrespect and abuse you, maybe our empathy capacity has been damaged.

Consider this:

“6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.

Campaigners claim that men are often treated as “second-class victims” and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously. “Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man’s side,” said John Mays of Parity. “Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men.”

The official figures underestimate the true number of male victims, Mays said. “Culturally it’s difficult for men to bring these incidents to the attention of the authorities. Men are reluctant to say that they’ve been abused by women, because it’s seen as unmanly and weak.”

Still worrying about the one in five women stat? Six percent is not twenty percent. How does that happen?

These days, women have many contacts with men. They have more opportunity to indulge their age-old predilection for bad boys. Bad boys are attractive because they they are bad, get in trouble, ignore the women attracted to them, and, well, beat them when they’re in a mood or something.

Exhibit I. Rihanna chose to return to the thug who did this to her.

She loves Chris. Just like Janay loves Ray.

She loves Chris. Just like Janay loves Ray.

When women actually get their act together, we nice guys will be glad to work with you about things which MUST be done, including making restraining orders stick, making local police departments care about frightened wives with broken arms and broken noses, and figuring out how to rescue even the moronic fools who think a right cross is something like a kiss. Not to mention shutting up the libs who pretend to protect women when they try to deny threatened women the right to own a protective firearm. Why do you think the term equalizer was ever coined?

Alternatively, learn the English language and your rights under the law. And get yourself a gun for that moment when a restraining order proves itself a mere piece of paper.

Final Note: The players of the NFL are arrested at a lesser rate than the population at large. Same goes for domestic violence arrests. Mostly, they’re decent if imperfect citizens.

Bet you didn’t know that.

The Guardian’s theme song. It grows on you. Like the show.

I tried to watch the popular TV series The Mentalist. Slick, superficial, inane. The Aussie star struck me as gay.

Today seems to be my day for confessing failures. I was wrong about the Aussie star. His name is Simon Baker. Beautiful wife and three kids. (Gaydar fail. Sigh.) When I was surfing Netflix for Midsomer Murders replacements, I stumbled across a three year major network series called “The Guardian,” which ran from 2001 to 2004.

Watched the pilot. Not too impressed. A pricey corporate lawyer in Pittsburgh gets busted for cocaine and is sentenced to divide his time between his father’s law firm and 1500 hours with the child services department of the city’s welfare system. Yawn. Fish out of water stuff. Silver spoon kid seeing real people problems for the first time.

A bit too transparent, you know. The name of the lead character is Nick Fallin (get it?), and he is so remote and without reaction that you might think he’s just a pretty boy coasting through a TV gig. Everybody rightly denounces him as arrogant, superior, and beyond the pale.

Don’t know why but after a long pause (desperation probably) I went back and watched a couple more episodes. Okay. I’ve strung it out long enough. This is a GREAT American TV series. Simon Baker is a gifted actor, wasted in The Mentalist.

If you have Netflix, start watching it before it goes away. Sixty seven episodes. I’ve watched sixty five. Don’t want to see what they do to him at the end. Because the real ending happened a few episodes before.

The show dates from the era when series TV required 22 or 23 episodes a year. You wonder how any of the actors managed it. And the more I watched, the more I wondered how Simon Baker, so urbane and charming in the Mentalist, always a twinkle in his eye, could play the part of Nick Fallin day in and day out for years.

There’s only one hook for the audience. Everyone detests and despises him, absolutely no one likes him, but it’s clear that he cares, that he feels everyone’s emotions, and he is nevertheless imprisoned inside an icy exterior he cannot break through. Nick Fallin is an undiagnosed borderline autistic. The three Emmies Baker should have received were not forthcoming because he works so hard to do so little. He looks no one in the eye. He does not respond at all to the most obvious of emotional cues. He suffers unutterable torment without a flicker of recognizable emotion. And yet you can still see him hurt. And care. But never a twinkle in his eye.

All this in a show that is stuffed with overacting. The plots frequently careen into soap opera.

Not going to give you spoilers about the long arc of the show. But I will say I have never seen a major network series offer us such a subtly developed and more humanly revealed Christ figure. Nick Fallin? Code name for demon damned. It takes them three years to make their point, a long long arc that does seem prescient about innumerable social and cultural issues, but at the end you find yourself thinking that a guardian angel plumped down on earth might very well find himself conflicted, tempted by vice, and struggling every day to discover what is right in both the highest and lowest realms.

And, oh yeah. Billy Budd. Herman Melville’s Christ figure. Innocence betrayed. A much better read than Moby Dick. And, mercifully, much much shorter.

Autographed Ray Rice jersey.

Autographed Ray Rice jersey.

I tend to congratulate myself for being right a lot, for being prescient, for having good timing. So it’s only fair that I admit when I’m none of those things.

Last Christmas, I got my wife an autographed Ray Rice jersey. Thought I did good. She went to Rutgers and after the Vick fiasco in Philly she transferred her team loyalty to the Baltimore Ravens.

To be honest, I had mixed feelings about the Ravens. On the one hand, they’re the only NFL team named after a poem. On the other hand, the Ravens are an abomination, the Cleveland Browns stolen from their home in the dead of night and therefore permanently accursed and evil. You know.

I had mixed feelings about Ray Rice too. He went to the NFL before he graduated from Rutgers. I carped about that, blamed the coach, though I understood the hardship argument without fully accepting it. He also couldn’t talk like a college student. “Should of went” is not a locution I countenance in anyone.

But we have season tickets at Rutgers, and we have seen Rice play valiantly many times. We watched him help the Ravens to Super Bowl victory. So I bought the jersey.

It was a matter of only days later that the Atlantic City elevator video surfaced. The one of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé into the hallway. We were done with him then. There was no need to see what happened inside the elevator.

We were equally disgusted with the two game suspension. One of many reasons why my interest in the NFL is plunging. Why I seared Rush Limbaugh a while ago. I don’t care about political correctness. Hitting women is not a mistake. It’s a mortal sin.

Now my disgust has reached an altogether new level. The video of what happened inside the elevator has generated a ridiculous flurry of “shocked, shocked” reactions. Please. I never needed to see it and have done my best not to see it, in the same way that I have done my best not to watch beheading videos or the compound fracture videos of Joe Theismann or its NBA counterpart a few weeks ago.

But we still have this autographed jersey. Anybody want it? Call it a monument to the prophetic pretensions of yours truly.

If you want it, I’ll mail it to you.

What? Me worry? No. The rest of us did.

What? Me worry? No. The rest of us did.

I was disgusted and done after the first half. But here’s the official story:

Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes in the second half and the Philadelphia Eagles rallied from 17-0 deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17 Sunday.

“You can’t lose your head out there,” Kelly said. “You have to understand that it’s a long game. We felt there were plays to be made.”

Iggles going nowhere this year. You heard it here first.

Jersey Girl

Paradise. Different things for different people.

From Barbara. Paradise. Different things for different people.

Beautiful. Paradise.

But you’re from Jersey too. You know we have our own version of Paradise.

Sometimes summer. Memories of times past.

Sometimes trans-seasonal. Memories of times paster.

We get by. But love your views. Someday. Maybe. When life isn’t so hectic…

Nasty Women

There are always nasty women. Some we like. Some we don’t. Some, meaning me. I don’t have to explain myself. Three I like:

Dorothy Parker.

Elaine Stritch.

Joan Rivers.

Though I despise Joan’s heirs, including Kathie Griffin, Margaret Cho, Rosie O’Donnell, and Sarah Silverman.

Unfair? I get to choose which nasty women I like. And don’t. I’ve chosen.

There is divinity. Only glunks fail to see it.

I wrote about this. Life is ineffable. Nihilism is nothing. Atheism always collapses to nihilism. Because if there is nothing at the beginning, there is nothing at the end. And we are closer to the end than we have been in a long long time.

Why I’m still awake at this hour. Read what I wrote.

She passed away today.

She passed away today.

Trophies for showing up. Terrific idea! Love our kids.

The title comes from my wife, who urged this fortune cookie on me this afternoon. Of course you can give up. I do it all the time.

Why am I giving up this time?

1. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

2. The reason the world is going to hell in a hand basket is Obama.

3. The U.S. Electorate voted this incompetent idiot into office twice.

4. His margin of victory is two demographics without any capacity to change their minds based on anything but fact-free emotion.

5. The young people who are supposed to represent the hope of the future are either gullible fanatics inducted into some monotonic cause or retro Babbits who want a title on the door, regardless of whether the door is locked or on fire.

So. For now I give up. Congratulations, Brizoni. You’ve succeeded in torpedoing my earthly faith at least. The death of Christianity looks like a mighty positive development. Congratulations, Joshua Babbitt. You’re right. Life is really only about you. Tony prep school kids demand your attention first and foremost. Don’t worry. You’ll both get your trophies.

But my wife will be home soon. No doubt the hope generator will be restarted soon.

From “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Not me, obviously.


An actual full frontal nude was so much worse than this that nobody in the MSM. Or FBI could take it. None of them had ever seen nipples or pubic hair before.

An actual full frontal nude was so much worse than this that nobody at Apple, the MSM or FBI could take it. They had never seen nipples or pubic hair before. God, how they they’d love to. Can’t wait. The hunt is frantic.

(Nipples and pubic hair are erotic. Small point to you stiffs for suspecting it.)

Famous actresses who took pictures of themselves naked are now surprised that someone found and published the pictures. Really? Career boost on the way?

Both MSNBC and Fox News are chewing this to death. How tiresome and hypocritical can you get on both sides? MSNBC doesn’t want to objectify women. So let’s talk about how naked they are. Fox News doesn’t want to disrespect women. So let’s talk about how naked they are. Can we see the labia minora? Fox? MSNBC? Can we?

Where are the pictures? I’m happy to look at them. I gave up on Facebook long ago. They won’t let me quit their service, but they won’t let me look at naked stars, either. Pretty much like doing a full frontal nude privately to your 200 friends, eh? Tweet and delete. Posed pics never show the labia minora, anyway. The acid test.

Why is this an issue of any kind? Actresses do things to become stars. Anybody out there who doesn’t know that?

Ship John Light. Guardian of the Cohansey/Delaware Bay.

Ship John Light. Guardian of the Cohansey/Delaware Bay.

Went out there one day. We were maybe 21. In a twelve foot Boston Whaler. Guy who had the con told me it was the dumbest of innumerable dumb things we had done together since teenage, including driving at 125+ speeds on the roads, shooting pistols with no adults around, and water skiing on an eight foot diameter, eighth of an inch thick piece of plywood that could have, and probably should have, sawed us in half like a saw blade. Ship John Light was there because the waters are dangerous. To well rigged eighteenth century sailing ships. Worse for dinghies with two idiots on board.

We survived all of that. We both survived everything.

Except life. Now we’re both recluses. Even from one another. No better friends through our elementary school years — and after an interruption for boarding school — in our late teens and twenties. WE WERE AWFUL. If it had a motor, we would drive it. If the motor was dead, we would revive it with ether. We were monsters.

We always had different talents. He could do anything mechanical. Which is not to demean him. He had an 800 Math board score. I could do other things. You could say we were each other’s friends when no one else would be, and you’d be both right and wrong.

In most ways, we were opposites. He married the most persistent woman, which was — well, isn’t it? — the American Dream. Like the way Jimmy Stewart kept marrying June Allyson. I remained the screwed up romantic, falling for one after another of the wrong women. He had four children. I have had none.

He stayed in the house he was born to, and I travelled widely. He remained the pillar of his father’s business. I did something altogether else.

Yet we both experienced the same kind of pain upon the death of our fathers. He told me his father turned bitter at the end, which I’d never have expected. Just wasted away. Mine wasted away too, from cancer, but I don’t think that was all of it. More. Deeper. And sadder.

We haven’t talked for a long time. He doesn’t approve of me. For oh so many reasons. His reclusiveness is different from mine. But exactly the same.

I think I can guarantee you all now, we both drive like little old ladies these days, and if we had our preference, we’d let our wives do it for us. If they knew what they were doing. His always had a tendency to ignore the speed limit in residential zones. Mine still tailgates on the Turnpike. The Two-Second Rule does not compute with math majors. Go figure.

It’s much much better to stay home.

Live like a prince, patronize like one.

Live like a prince, patronize to the proles like one.

I’ve disagreed with him before. I’ve made fun of him at times (yeah, read the post and enjoy all the graphics), despite agreeing more often than not. But this time, last Friday, he totally screwed the pooch.

Here’s the link: We’re Just Days Away from the Start of the NFL Season and We’re Talking About Domestic Violence Penalties. Despicable. I won’t quote it out of context. You’ve got to read the whole thing. Apparently, love for the NFL supersedes all.

It’s rare that he misses the point completely. This time he did. Domestic violence is not a joke, a PR cause, or an excuse to blame liberal media.

Men who beat women are the lowest of the low. Even if there are crazy women in your life who ask to be abused, who demand to be smacked, it’s the man’s responsibility to end the relationship. There’s never ANY excuse for it. That’s part of what being a man is. Mostly, it’s men who cross the line and one hell of a lot of them do. I have no use for the “lifestyle” argument. Broken jaws, eye sockets, noses, ribs, arms, and legs are counterbalanced by Maseratis and grossly over-decorated McMansions? Screw you.

This is an all-time low point of the Rush Limbaugh Show.

I’m posting this before his show starts today. I’m hoping for the rarest thing in talk radio, a full blown Rush apology.

I’m not hopeful.

P.S. Coincidentally, Rush wasn’t on air today. Maybe this will all blow over. Maybe he isn’t a dick Steelers fan to the exclusion of all else. Maybe.

I’m very tired, you know.

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